What is Shame/Defectiveness Schema?

What is Defectiveness Schema?

In adolescence where people have been violated, overlooked, dismissed, or excluded in their lives, defectiveness schema grows. They directly or implicitly received the message that they were at fault, or that there was something negative, immoral, or defective about them, no matter what treatment they received.

As infants, they do not have the maturity to see that they are at fault with their parents or guardians – they view their cruel or incompetent treatment as purely down to them. In this article, we will discuss Defectiveness Schema.

defectiveness schema
course photo: @bearinmind.psychology

What are the symptoms of Defectiveness Schema?

If you have Defectiveness Schema you may feel worthless, unwanted, inferior. Parallel to this, the chronic feeling you feel about yourself becomes embarrassing. So you’re ashamed of yourself. 

The basis of your perception of imperfection (which is not realistic) can be very variable. Some of your flaws may be obvious (selfish; angry impulses or unacceptable sexual desires, etc.), while others may be hidden (undesirable physical appearance, social incompetence).

The situations where you feel imperfect can include: feeling very angry, very boring, very deprived, very incompetent, too lazy, too grumpy, too fat, too weak, too long, too short, too strange, too skinny, too foolish, and so on. You may think you are sexually unacceptable.

You perceive your imperfection as an existential condition. So, you feel like you’re flawed no matter what you do. So even if proven otherwise, you tend to perceive yourself as flawed.

You are over-sensitive to being rejected, admired, or accused by others; because being rejected, disliked, accused is a disaster for you. You’ll be overly shy with others; because you can constantly compare yourself with others. You may feel imperfect in your close relationships or in the wider social world (or both).

Characteristics of Defectiveness & Shame Behavior

  • You can create situations that will make you feel constantly flawed and make excessive efforts to avoid situations that make you feel flawed, or you can overwork the pursuit of perfection. Although these pathways may seem very different, they have a common denominator to strengthen your perception of the most fundamental imperfection.
  • You’re extremely sensitive to rejection and criticism. You blame others for your inward problems. You’re usually withdrawn. You compare yourself a lot with others.
  • Usually, you choose critical and rejecting partners. You may not like those who find you valuable. In this case, the following sentence may be very familiar to you: I would like someone who likes someone like me!
  • You feel uncomfortable with people who you think are perfect, or who you think will recognize your flaws.
  • You can avoid close relationships or social environments. Because you believe that people can recognize your flaws. At a meeting, you can choose to sit in a secluded place so people don’t notice your ugliness. You can exhibit attitudes that can lead to substance abuse or eating disorders to deal with your defectiveness schema.
  • You may be jealous or competitive in areas where you feel defective. Sometimes you perceive interpersonal relationships as up-down dance. So you’re either more perfect or they’re. You can endeavor to perfection, the opposite pole of imperfection. Very nice/handsome, intelligent, successful, charismatic, etc. Although you make an extreme effort to become a good feeling may not take long. You can spend a very long time in front of the mirror to look good, extraordinary effort to speak very well. And even try to be among the groups that you feel most perfect. You make friends with ugly people who are more unsuccessful than you.

What Can Be the Origin of Your Defectiveness Schema?

what is shame/defectiveness schema? 1
Source: @bearinmind.psychology
  • If you have this schema, there may be a problem with yourself being loved and feeling valued as a child. These types of experiences may be of interest to you:
  • Someone in your family may have been overly critical, humiliating, and punishing you. You have been criticized or punished by someone (family, friends, teachers, etc.) for your constant appearance, behavior, and what you say.
  • You may be made to feel disappointed, mistaken, or wrong by a parent.
  • Sexually, physically, or emotionally abused by a family member.
  • Your parents may have always told you that you were bad, worthless, useless.
  • Your parents have unfairly compared you to your other brothers and sisters, they have generally been preferred.
  • One of your parents has left the house and you may have perceived it as your own fault.

The Defectiveness Schema Chemistry

According to Defectiveness schema, people who are suitable for our schema may be more attractive to us even if they have a negative impact on our lives. Accordingly, we either take people who are suitable for our schema into our lives or behave in accordance with our schema in our relationship.

If you have this defectiveness schema you may have the following types of experiences with your relationships:

  • Your partner may be physically and emotionally abusive towards you. He/she can humiliate you or act aggressively.
  • Your partner can be a very attractive and desired person. You may have been struck with him/her knowing he wouldn’t take care of you the way you want. Next to them you may feel second-hand or incomplete.
  • When you are with your partner you feel inferior or you can act inferiorly.
  • Being jealous and possessive.
  • Comparing yourself with others, feeling jealous and inadequate.
  • You need and expect constant confirmation that your partner cares about you.
  • Allowing your partner to criticize, humiliate, or treat you badly.
  • You have difficulty accepting the current criticism.
  • If you have children, you may be extremely critical of them.
  • You cannot claim your successes, you can feel like a crook when you succeed. You may be extremely worried that you will not be able to sustain your success.
  • Being hopeless and over-depressed in your career decline or rejection of your relationships.
  • When you feel accepted and admired by your partner, you become very critical of it, and your romantic feelings disappear. Then you can be humiliating and critical to him.
  • Keeping your true identity secret so that your partner doesn’t feel that he really knows you.
  • You may be overly nervous when talking in public. (This schema plays an important role in social phobia and presentation challenges.)

Defectiveness Schema Treatment

The main purpose of psychotherapy is to increase your self-esteem and make your perception of yourself realistic. In the course of therapy, as a human being, you try to see that you deserve love and respect as much as anyone.

With psychotherapy, you can feel more comfortable with others. Even though it’s hard for you to get in touch with people, you won’t avoid it. You can afford to face negative emotions.

You can open yourself to other people (realistically), and let others open themselves to you.

Your view of other people becomes more realistic. Also, you constantly try to test your belief that they have negative thoughts about you.

You try to do things that you cannot do with others (eating, sitting, talking, etc.). In general, you test your beliefs that social environments are dangerous.

Read more about disorders and schemas like Defectiveness Schema here.

Last Updated on December 10, 2022 by Lucas Berg


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